Great Leaders Can Motivate Without Money

employee screening, employee background checkLow on cash this holiday season? You’re not alone. Studies show that holiday bonuses will be few and far between this year. In fact, one survey of 100 companies showed that 43 percent would not be giving year-end bonuses—up from 28 percent in 2007.

So how can you convince employees to stick with you, even though you’re running leaner operation, and morale is suffering? Luckily, creating a great team often has nothing to do with money—and everything to do with leadership.

How Leaders Motivate Without Spending Money

  • Encourage New Leaders: Make examples out of your best employees. Encourage them to step up and take on more responsibility. If they need more training to perform at a higher level, make sure they get it.
  • Say Thank You: When someone does a great job, show your appreciation. Every time. If your company reaches an objective, share the accolades with everyone.
  • Throw a Party: Celebrations make everybody feel good. Closing early on a Friday and bringing in pizza is a great, inexpensive way to kick off the weekend. Plan a picnic in the summer, or a bowling party in the winter. Anything to break the monotony of work and show your team that you want them to enjoy themselves will go a long way.
  • Invite Ideas: Ask your employees what they think, instead of always telling them what you think. Hold regular brainstorming sessions, where everyone is allowed to contribute. Whether you use their ideas or not, it still makes them feel engaged and valued.
  • Encourage Teamwork: Instead of making one person in charge of a team or project, have the entire group work together as a team, as equals. You may find they are more motivated to do well when they feel empowered.
  • Break Down Barriers to Communication: Asking for ideas and encouraging participation is a great start to better communication. Ignoring titles and allowing staff to break out of their job descriptions can also help.
  • Insist on Accountability: When employees are given high expectations, they will strive to meet them—and feel good when they do. If they don’t, let them know they are still accountable for getting the job done. Don’t allow an employee to present a problem without suggesting a solution. Eventually, everyone will be more accountable for their work and for improving their performance.
When hiring new employees, be sure to conduct proper background screening. The best pre-employment screening process includes employee background checks, employee credit checks, and criminal background checks. You’ll know you’re hiring safe when you screen employees before offering a position.

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